Pierce leads new baseball era


Head coach David Pierce comes from Sam Houston State, where he had coached since 2012 and compiled a 121-63 record. Pierce said his goal is to win five types of championships this season: the regular season title, the American Athletic Conference tournament championship, a NCAA Regional, a NCAA Super Regional, and the National Championship.

Jordan Figueredo, Associate Sports Editor

The 2014-15 baseball season brings a fresh Green Wave program.

In its inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference, Tulane — which finished 30-28 overall, 11-13 in Conference USA last season  is now under new leadership with head coach David Pierce.

Pierce comes from Sam Houston State, where he had coached since 2012. Pierce compiled a 121-63 record in three seasons and reached a regional round in the NCAA Baseball Tournament each year. 

The Green Wave also added three new assistant coaches for the upcoming 2015 campaign. Coaches Sean Allen, Philip Miller and Phil Haig, who all served under Pierce at SHSU, will join the program. 

Pierce said he sees great potential for his first season with the Wave and wants to focus on defining the success of the program both now and in future seasons. 

“Our expectations are great, since we are given a great opportunity to play and coach this great game,” Pierce said. “We have such [high] aspirations for what we are going to do, on and off the field.”

With a new head coach comes a new coaching philosophy — one that will differ from that of former head coach Rick Jones. Pierce said he believes that his coaching philosophy of focusing on the simplicity of the game will help the Green Wave reach new levels of potential.

“We want to keep [the game] simple,” Pierce said. “We want to give [the players] as much information early on as we can and then back off and let them play the game. We really want to stay out of their way so they can clear their minds to allow them to [play to the best of their abilities.]”

Pierce said that if the game is made simple, the offense and defense will respond and produce with much more success. 

“Our intent is to give [the players] the information to allow themselves to make good decisions on the field,” Pierce said. “That’s when they can become reactive players.”

The Green Wave returns 25 players from the 2013-14 season, including seven pitchers who threw at least 12 innings last season. There are several freshman additions and two junior college pitchers, who Pierce believes are going to provide immediate impact. 

“We have six [players] that are fighting hard for starting roles and platoon roles in the outfield,” Pierce said. “A couple of them can play multiple positions, so we have great competition [in the outfield]. I feel like we have nine potential guys who can be in a starting [pitching] role.”

Redshirt junior pitcher Alex Massey said the team has responded well to Pierce and his staff through the off-season. Massey said Pierce emphasizes that the team as a whole is held to high standards.

“[The coaching staff] expects a lot of us in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field,” Massey said. 

Pierce said he expects the team to succeed in both the field and classroom.

“We will win,” Pierce said. “It’s not just on the field, it’s off the field. Our expectations are to win in the classroom, win on the field, win in the community and in our personal lives. If we do those things the right way, we will win our share of baseball games.”

Despite the high standard the team is expected to maintain, sophomore pitcher Corey Merrill said it’s an environment that will produce success.

“[The coaches] bring a different mentality,” Merrill said. “It’s more relaxed but with a higher intensity on putting pressure on the other team, which I like a lot. I think it’s going to be very successful.”

Tulane will undoubtedly face challenges in its first season in its new era but the players are prepared and confident in the coaching staff and the overall ability of the team.

“We are doing everything we can to prepare to win,” sophomore infielder Hunter Williams said. “[The coaching staff] has given us all the support we need to put us in the best position to win.”

Tulane’s season opens with a three game series against Pepperdine starting Feb. 13 in Malibu, California.

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